St. Maarten Government needs over 20 million guilders to complete new building

POSTED: 07/7/11 2:30 PM

October completion date no longer feasible

St. Maarten – Prime Minister Sarah Wescot-Williams, who is responsible for Facilities Management, has said it is unfeasible to believe that the new Government Administration Building will be completed by October 2011 as put forward in the draft governing program. She made the announcement at Wednesday’s Council of Ministers press briefing.

“At the time, which was when the governing program was drafted, and we’re talking like November to December last year, it was anticipated that what needed to be done would have been done between January and October, so October was kind of given as the finalization date, but there’s no way that we can finish the building by October as things stand now, let alone be in the building,” Wescot-Williams said.

At the moment government is seeking to find 2.7 million guilders in the budget to pay for completing between five to six projects related to the building that have already gone on bid and for which contractors have made an offer. The government must also find a further 18 million to complete and furnish the building. Those investments are part of the capital investments of the 2011 budget, but government may not be able to get the total amount because of restrictions the amount the government can borrow on the capital market in a particular year.

“The request for the Central Bank of Curacao and St. Maarten to facilitate this process was already made. There have been discussions regarding the projects that were presented for financing, which includes the financing of the new government building, but we have not received any type of final information regarding the financing of the roughly 18 to 19 million guilders that is necessary in addition to the 2.7 million,” the Prime Minister said.

The government continues to pay rent for the unfinished building and discussions continue on a potential takeover or buy out of the development agreement that is held by RGM.

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